Rugby is a game which originated from Rugby School, in Rugby England where it was known to be first played in 1823. Rugby shares its earliest history with soccer and American football. According to sports stories, it was a student in Rugby School that made a distinctive ball handling while playing. Instead of just kicking the ball forward, he picked up and run with it during a particular game.
How Rugby’s Ball Handling Started
The game of football was a common play among students in English schools during the early 1800s. They mob to bring a ball towards a goal without holding it, but the teenager William Webb Ellis changed the norm of the game when he picked the ball up, and ran with it tightly tucked in his arms. Holding the ball and running with it made the game extremely exciting to the amusement of everyone.
The First Rugby Club in 1839
Rugby School students took the game with carrying the ball until they graduated and soon more rugby clubs were plying all over England. In 1839, the first club was formed at Cambridge University.
The Dispute Over Carrying the Ball Was Settled in 1863
The question about allowing the ball to be carried or not went on; until a meeting was set at a tavern in London in October 26, 1863 to lay out rules that will govern rugby games. The “Blackheath Club” was the only one that didn’t vote to allow ball handling and it chose to leave the football association. Other schools continued to form the association football which is soccer. That provided the official break up between rugby and soccer.
The First Set Of Rules was Formed in 1870
Rugby competitions were still held under fairly informal rules. In 1845, Rugby School students formed the first set of written rules but not every club was aware of the rules or chose not to follow and play their own game. There was a need to form a central body if they wanted rugby to survive. In December 1870, the secretary of Richmond Rugby Club placed an announcement in the news paper inviting all rugby clubs to meet and form a standard set of rules.
The First Formal Set of Rules - The 59 Laws of the Game
There were initially 22 rugby clubs that agreed to a common goal of establishing the Rugby Football Union. For the first time in the history of the game, in June of 1871, the first set of rules layout in the previous year was formalized and dubbed as the 59 Laws of the game. The rules were then adopted in all rugby games were members of the union played. That’s a lot more complicated than the seven laws of soccer.
1. Rugby Union – It is played by teams of 15 members each.
2. Rugby League – It is played by teams of 13 members each.
Rugby is played by kicking, handling, or passing an inflated oval ball laterally or backward; forward passing is against the rules. This game is a favorite and has a huge following worldwide. However, it is most popular in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK.